Music Song Analysis: The Cure – The Lovecats Melody

The Cure formed during the Punk era of the 1970’s and they released “The Lovecats” in November of 1982. The song overall has a happy feel, which is supported by the use of an E major key. The song starts off with a snare drum beat which continues throughout the song giving it the same constant beat but the melody plays around this by having a deep bass playing along with major keys of the piano. In the chorus there seems to be a slight change with the melody, the instruments and vocals go slightly higher giving the chorus a happier feel, this is more noticeable because of the change in bass. The song reflects its era by the way it sounds, with sound effects, instruments used, and the song’s genre.

It has many sound effects throughout which help provide the melody such as what sounds like clashes of milk bottles at the beginning, and the scratching of a cat littler tray later on in the song. The voice also contributes in more ways than one; there are many sound effects of meowing and screeching. Throughout the song there are exaggerations of the letter ‘s’ in some words turning them into hissing sounds, such words include cats, hissed, this and kiss. The vocals also join in with the melody by singing along with the piano and of course the lyrics which are connected very smoothly and intelligently. The song is about comparing a couple to cats and there every day fights, being in love etc. Some have deeper thoughts of the song being about suicide which reflect the lines such as ‘into the sea you and me’ but the melody doesn’t connect with this opinion and supports the song being about a happier topic.

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The vocals stick to a similar pitch throughout the song with some words at a higher pitch than the others, stressing them more, such as “we fight and scratch and scream all night” and “into the sea you and me.” Half way through the song a saxophone is introduced giving the song more of a catchy rhythm. The songs melody spreads like a rash as when played people can’t help moving along to the rhythm and beat. The song has a noticeable build up to its end with the lyrics sung slower and then the same line repeated. The melody with everything else then gets higher in pitch apart from the vocal. It then ends on minor keys of the piano which is clearly different from the rest of the melody giving the song a distinct ending. In my opinion I rate this song very highly on melody, rhythm, instruments and vocals and class it was a classic song of the 80’s.

Whitney Houston – My Love Is Your Love Time

“My Love Is Your Love” is a 1999 song by American R&B/Pop singer Whitney Houston. It is a slow and mid-tempo R&B song which is full of gospel notes. Most of the songs different remix lasts around 4:00 minutes with the radio edit 4:03 and the song on the album being 4:20 which is the analytical version. When listened to it comes across as a very neat and tidy song with a constant drum beat throughout which helps place everything else. There are four different beats which are repeated in the same order throughout the song, with a speeded up version towards the end. The four beats last about 6 seconds all together. The song starts off with a 14 second introduction before the main lyrics start.

Before the main lyrics are an echoing of the line “clap your hands, ya’ll it’ alright” which start on the 1st beat of the song and are then repeated on the 3rd beat of the same bar, this is then repeated twice. This is shown below by using the lyrics of the song to represent the timing. Every highlighted word is the first beat of the four, but most of the first beats occur in the instrumental part of the song. To the right of the lyrics shows where the first part of the line falls within the beat, giving an idea of how the song is musically timed.

(clap your hands, ya’ll it’ alright) (4 times) 1st and then 3rd beat

If tomorrow is a judgement day (sing mommy) 2nd beat

And I’m standin’ on the front line 2nd beat

And the Lord ask me what I did with my life 2nd beat

I will say I spent it with you 1st beat

(clap your hands, ya’ll it’ alright) (2 times) 3rd and then 1st beat

If I wake up in World War three 4th beat

I see destruction and poverty 4th beat

And I feel like I want to go home 4th beat

It’s okay if you comin’ with me 3rd beat

(clap your hands, ya’ll it’s alright) (2 times) 3rd beat

‘Cause your love is my love 3rd beat

and my love is your love 1st beat

It would take an eternity to break us 3rd beat

And the chains of Amistad couldn’t hold us (2 times) 1st beat

(clap your hands, ya’ll it’s alright) (2 times) 3rd and then 1st beat

If I lose my fame and fortune 2nd beat

And I’m homeless on the street 1st beat

And I’m sleepin’ in Grand Central Station 2nd beat

It’s okay if you’re sleepin’ with me 1st beat

(clap your hands, ya’ll its alright….) (2 times) 3rd beat

As the years they pass us by 4th beat

we stay young through each other’s eyes 3rd beat

And no matter how old we get 4th beat

It’s okay as long as I got you babe 3rd beat

(clap your hands, ya’ll it’s alright) (2 times) 3rd and then 1st beat

‘Cause your love is my love 1st beat

and my love is your love 3rd beat

It would take an eternity to break us 1st beat

And the chains of Amistad couldn’t hold us (2 times) 3rd beat

Fast drum starts here but times are still the same

If I should die this very day 1st beat

Don’t cry, cause on earth we wasn’t meant to stay 1st beat

And no matter what people say 1st beat

I’ll be waiting for you after judgement day 1st beat

‘Cause your love is my love 1st beat

and my love is your love 3rd beat

It would take an eternity to break us 1st beat

And the chains of Amistad couldn’t hold us (2 times) 3rd beat

As shown by the monitoring of the time of the beats in comparison to the lyrics it backs up the point that the song is very tidy. There are constant patterns of where the lyrics fall with regards to the timing, such as at the begging of the song, where the first three lines fall on the same beat but the last line falls on a different, this happens on the first two verses. From there on the verses are alternative between which beats they fall on, this is the same with the choruses. Towards the end of the song there is a change musically and with the timing, where all of the lines fall on the first beat and the drum changes to a faster beat but is the same length. This song is a recital as it has been structured and rehearsed to perfection with no personal input when singing in time.

Pink Martini – Una Notte A Napoli Instruments

Pink Martini are a 12-member band from Portland. It is very difficult to place them in a genre as they cover many types of music. They have a number of instrumental influences such as Ravel, Chopin, Nino Rota and many others. They also get a lot of outside participation, like the song that is being analysed here, which is sung by an Italian star Alba Clemente. This song is especially rhythmic and sounds very romantic and rich. It is a haunting lover’s ballad which is about a woman who meets a fallen angel, yet takes to the skies with this man with no wings.

The song starts off with the piano in a major key which is soon to be accompanied by the vocal of a rich voiced Italian woman. A string instrument then escorts the piano and vocals, with a quiet warmer tone of plucking; a harp is then introduced and performs a solo for a few seconds. This instrument is quite fitting to the song as a harp often represents an angel which links into the meaning of the lyrics. Immediately after, the song changes to a faster melody bringing in the bongos to help the rhythm, they are then soon followed with the viola, with bursts of the harp every so often. The song is then building up to a large burst of pitch with the cymbals crashing together and the vocals and instruments rising in pitch also, this is repeated again soon after.

There is then a break of the main vocal lyrics with the instruments being the main attraction. Firstly the lure is on the warmer tone of plucking from the string instrument, the trumpet is then introduced to the ensemble later on in the instrumental solo which has now become the main instrument. The vocal lyrics are then introduced with just the violin playing behind, soon brought in is the viola, the warm plucking of a string instrument and then the piano, then followed by the rest of the instruments. The melody then builds up to another crashing of the cymbals which is repeated again soon after. The rhythm then slows down bringing the song to a stop with the vocals. This song is constantly active with many aspects including melody, instruments, pitches and timing. It is very indulging and all of the instruments go incredibly well together.

Diamanda Gal�s – Insane Asylum Voice

Diamanda Gal�s was born to Anatolian and Greek parents, where they encouraged her gift of the piano to progress further. She has studied a wide range of musical forms, as well as visual-art performance. She is a very talented pianist and singer, and with the style that she uses her voice blends perfectly into her piano playing. ‘Insane Asylum’ was recorded in 1992 and was brought out on one of her many albums, ‘Judgement Day’. ‘Insane Asylum’ is a song about the panic a boy feels during his confinement.

Her voice is very deep, strong and frightening for a woman; it also sounds very vibrated, deep throated and exaggerated at the majority of times. She often screeches and also uses her voice to play different roles in this particular song. Although the characteristics of her voice are not the normal positive aspects of a singers voice her screams and modulation do not seem too much or too little for the effect she is trying to create, she captures her avant-garde genre just how she wants to by doing that. The voice does not to have much connection to the rhythm or melody of the song and seems to go where it wants to, which gives a blues effect, being high and low in pitch. This song’s main attraction is the voice as there are not many other aspects to it, although there is the piano but her voice often overlaps the tune. However by only using two instruments; the voice and the piano create a bigger outcome than if more instruments where used, the concentration is on the characteristics of her voice.

There are many lines which to some would be classed as a negative. The song starts off with her saying “I went out to the Insane Asylum” where she shouts the lyrics in no particular timing or harmony with a deep throated voice. Later on in the song she changes her voice, which sounds smooth on the lines of narration such as “Then the little boy raised his head…” and also on the narration later on the song “Some people have an halfway fare”. She then seems to slow down and later on in the song starts speaking more than singing in such lines as “And then sorrow struck my heart, Tears began to stream down from my eyes…”. She uses her voice in every way possible experimenting and definitely never keeping it the same. She is a very unique artist with a different style to offer in the music world.

Tears began to stream down from my eyes

Johnny Cash – Hurt (Technology/Production)

Nine Inch Nails – Hurt

Nine Inch Nails where the original band to sing ‘Hurt’ which was written by Trent Renzor, and they released it on there album in 1994. In 2002 Johnny Cash did a cover song of ‘Hurt’, which was his final hit before his death. Both songs although they are the same have different outcomes.

The Nine Inch Nails version’s genre is classed as alternative. It has very quiet lyrics which are just about heard over the few instruments used which are the guitar, synthesizer, piano and the drums during the chorus. There is also a lot of industrial background noise as the song was never brought out as a single just as the live performance which was released either as a censored or uncensored version. In the live performance various images where projected onto the stage which created the video for the song. The songs structure is simple from the first quiet chorus, to the second which is noticeably louder, then the song ends with an electronic blast. The song is about a character that has already killed himself and is now reflecting on his life, and he finally contemplates whether he would change it if given another chance.

Johnny Cash’s cover ‘Hurt’ was different in many ways than the original. Its genre is classed as country and it was a much clearer and instrumental wise much simpler using just a guitar and piano. He also changed some of the lyrics from “crown of shit” to “crown of thorns” removing the blasphemy and referring to Jesus instead. The song was firmly focused on the 70 year old man with no trick shots in the video, just simply moving towards the twilight of his career with issues and emotions which are not normally dealt with in videos. This cover obtained a Country Music Award for “single of the Year” in 2003. It has also featured on Television many times ranging from commercials to England’s World Cup Football.

This version has so much feeling and belief in the words and the video; it is so momentous it brings people to tears when just listening/watching it, including myself. In this version the song reflects on Johnny Cash’s life with the video showing clips of his past, including such topics as the flood damaged House of Cash Museum being closed to public, footage of the country celebrity as a young man and also with his family, a family picture with the backing lyrics saying “everyone I know goes away in the end”. This song has the same structure as the original with instead of an electronic blast it has a burst of a piano key being stuck continuously, which has so much more effect as in this case simple is better. In this particular case the original song has more technology and production, you could say Cash’s version has more production although it was kept very simple, but the director was the famous Mark Romanek.

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